Today’s question came to use from a reader who has concerns about how long water testing will take. ‘Dee90332’ asked, “we all have busy lives so me whining about mine won’t help the fact I don’t have a lot of time to check my well water as you and others suggest I do on a regular basis. The tests you sell look like good ideas but how long will they take and in the end will it be worth my time?”
Thank you, Dee, for your inquiry and YES we believe that you can justify taking a few minutes out your already hectic schedule to test your water for (at least) the basic water quality parameters like coliform bacteria, heavy metals like lead and iron, pH & alkalinity, total hardness, etc.
We sincerely believe that KNOWING your water has the proper balance to keep you living a healthier, and dare we hope for longer, life makes spending 10 to 20 minutes every so often well worth ANYone’s time — especially if you have young children, elderly family, and/or individuals with compromised immune systems living with you.
Three water testing options
- Local Water Quality Technicians — Having someone from a local water filtration company come out to test your water will save you the time it takes to test your water, yes, but prepare yourself for a sales pitch since they typically make their money on the water filters they sell, not the testing services they provide. Many an unsuspecting homeowner has purchased a water filter system that they did not need based upon the results of water test results provided by a water filter salesperson.
Not saying ALL water filter salespeople stoop to that low level, but hard evidence points to the fact that many have in the past.
Oh, and make certain the local water testing lab you select has the proper certifications to test drinking water.
- Mail-In Water Testing Services — It usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes to properly collect and pack up a water sample that then needs to get shipped via and overnight method guarantee that specific water quality characteristics and contaminant levels do not shift between the time of collection and testing.
Companies like National Testing Laboratories offer a variety of water testing packages ranging from single tests for things like tannins and fluoride to comprehensive water testing packages that detect more than 100 metals, volatile organic compounds, DBP’s (disinfection byproducts), water characteristics, etc.
- Perform the Testing Yourself — This option (more than the other two) will require you to get your hands wet, yes, but it also costs the least amount of money and makes it possible for you to test your water on-the-spot when/if it tastes funny, looks cloudy, smells bad, etc.
Granted no at-home drinking water test kits exist for things like VOC’s and DBP’s, but you can easily test at home for other more common water problems like metals, coliform bacteria and total hardness in a matter of minutes.
No matter which option you choose, just CHOOSE and rest easier knowing that unwanted contaminants have not slipped into your water supply.
Remember: It’s Your Water, Your Health, and Ultimately… Your LIFE!